By Jalalle Essalhi & Camille Jeanjean
The tenth edition of the FilmGate Interactive Media Festival (FGI X) highlighted French immersive creation, with a winning project, a new French-American cooperation lab, and a strong presence of artists and professionals, including a former Villa Albertine resident.
From November 29 to December 3, 2023, Villa Albertine supported a delegation of 10 French professionals through FRENCH IMMERSION, a mobility fund dedicated to the promotion of French immersive works, in partnership with Albertine Foundation, CNC, Institut français, and UniFrance, at Filmgate Miami 2023.
Producers Yves Ubelmann (Iconem) and Alessandra Bogi (Lucid Realities) discussed “the future of museum experiences where the boundaries between the physical and the digital blur, offering visitors unprecedented ways to engage with art, history, and culture” as part of the panel Museums I Immersive Digital Strategies.
In the discussion, Are we out of the new frontier??? Production and Distribution with New Media – AI, Carol Giordano (Seconde Nature and ZINC associations) and Fred Volhuer (Atlas V) additionally shared their insights on the “production and distribution challenges for new formats.”
Pierre Zandrowicz (Atlas V) and filmmaker Matthew Tierney were in attendance as well, to discuss the process of making their work “IN SEARCH OF TIME” using AI.
Best of Fest Awarded to a French Work
French co-produced works, including “FLOW,” “FORTUNE,” and “IN SEARCH OF TIME” were in competition for the festival’s “Best of Fest” award, with the French VR experience “THE EYE AND I” winning the top prize.
“THE EYE AND I” is a collaborative immersive work by Jean-Michel Jarre and Hsin-Chien Huang that delves into the evolution of surveillance across art, family, politics, and technology through 12 cells in a panopticon.
A New Caribbean XR Lab
Three projects by Guadeloupean creators shined during Filmgate Miami’s workshops and final pitch competition, revealing possible convergences between the Caribbean imaginary and immersive technologies: “VELUM” by Ella Jacoby-Koaly, “BEYOND LINE OF SIGHT” by Jeff Fidelin, and “TIMELESS GUADELOUPE” by Lucas Sousseing.
The New Narratives Lab is a program of masterclasses, individual workshops, prototyping, and mentorship at University of Miami, created by FilmGate Miami with the support of Villa Albertine, Nouveaux Regards, and the Caribbean Mobility Fund. The lab is supported by René Pinnel, CEO and founder of Artizen, a community fund for art, science, technology, and design.
Lucas Sousseing came first in the pitch competition, winning a $10,000 prize to develop an AR application that enhances Guadeloupe’s historical and architectural heritage.
Villa Albertine Resident on Stage
2023 Villa Albertine resident DJ CRYSTALLMESS, i.e. Christelle Oyiri, DJ’d at Zeyzey for the closing evening of the festival.
Previously known as FACE Foundation, Albertine Foundation is an American nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting French-American relations through innovative cultural and educational projects. In partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, Albertine Foundation promotes artistic, literary, and educational exchange and collaboration between creative professionals from both countries. With additional corporate, foundation, and individual support, Albertine Foundation administers grant programs in the performing and visual arts, cinema, translation, and secondary and higher education, while providing financial sponsorship to French-American festivals and other cultural initiatives. Albertine Foundation focuses on new and recent work of living artists and the promotion of bilingualism and the French language.
Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée (CNC)
Created in 1946, the Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée (CNC) is a public administrative organization, set up as a separate and financially independent entity which comes under the authority of the French ministry of culture and communication. Its principal missions are : support for the film, broadcast, video, video games, immersive productions and technical industries; promotion of film and television for distribution to all audiences and preservation and development of the film heritage.
The Institut français is responsible for France’s international cultural program. Supervised by both the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and by the Ministry of Culture, it promotes French culture abroad through cultural exchange initiatives. Operating in a space where the arts, intellectual exchange, cultural and social innovation, and linguistic partnerships interact and intersect, it is also responsible for promoting the French language and the sharing of works, artists, and ideas all over the world. The Institut français is one of Villa Albertine’s main French partners.
Founded in 1949 and strengthened thanks to its merger with TV France International in 2021, UniFrance is the organisation responsible for promoting French cinema and TV content worldwide.
Located in Paris, UniFrance employs around 50 staff members, as well as representatives based in the U.S., in China, and soon in Japan. The organisation currently brings together more than 1,000 French cinema and TV content professionals (producers, filmmaking talents, agents, sales companies, etc.) working together to promote French films and TV programmes among foreign audiences, industry executives and media.